Is the Government More Trustworthy than Facebook?

By David Cohen 

MyLifeSurveyChart650Why the mistrust? Yet another survey — this one of 4,000 U.S. adults, conducted by MyLife— found that respondents believe Facebook is less trustworthy with their personal information than the government (hello, does anyone remember the National Security Agency and Prism?), LinkedIn or Google.

According to MyLife, just 17.1 percent of respondents trust Facebook with their personal information, compared with 23.2 percent for the government, 32.9 percent for LinkedIn and 47.2 percent for Google.

MyLife wrote:

So if people don’t trust an organization to guard their personal information, why do they give them the data in the first place?

Sometimes it’s simply a case of misunderstanding how a company might use personal data. Other times, it may be a lack of transparency on the part of companies collecting the information.

For example, did you know that you don’t even have to click the like button for Facebook to track that you read an article on a third-party website? Or that Google uses information from your Gmail account when deciding how to present your search results on

Lastly, there are those who worry about protecting their personal information but don’t know what to do about it, so they do nothing. With 71 percent of online adults claiming to be Facebook users and just 17.1 percent claiming to trust the behemoth social networking site, it seems folks online are experiencing some serious cognizant dissonance problems.

Readers: Did the results of the MyLife survey surprise you?